China Moves to Allow Legalized Gambling on Hainan Island

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Macau may soon have some competition as reports have surfaced that the Chinese government is considering turning Hainan Island into a new gambling Mecca.

More importantly perhaps. the island could become a new world hot spot for online gambling.

The legalization of gambling would bring a much needed revenue boost to the debt-ridden island, which is known for its beautiful beaches.

The Straits Times reports that an index of Macau casino stocks tumbled on the news.

Sands China Ltd. and MGM China Holdings Ltd. dropped as much as 6 per cent, and Wynn Macau Ltd. fell as much as 6.7 per cent.

"I think investors were shocked - I'm a bit surprised," said Sam Chi Yung, a Hong Kong based strategist with South China Financial Holdings Ltd.

"It's difficult to say what the impact will be on their profits as it all depends on China's policy and how they arrange the license. But what's sure is that people going to Macau to gamble will drop."

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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